Ben-Wah Balls Brought To You By 50 Shades Of Grey And The Internet

50 Shades Of Grey, that frothy Cirque De Soleil wonderland triptych of mass-consumed erotica that the media immediately termed "Mommy porn" due to its suburban demographic, which I kind of hate—it's basically since expanded to "everyoneporn," or at least "everyone-skimmed-at-Barnes & Noble-porn"— seems to be the gift that keeps on giving (not least a TMZ headline that includes the phrase "Vagina Ball Explosion"). It's ushered in a new mainstream surge of sex toys for couples, specifically Ben-Wah balls. Which are used by Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele on page 362, if you're interested.

A sex toy company called Fun Factory even penned a thank-you letter to Vintage Books, Grey's publishing house, after the sale of their Kegel exercise "Smart Balls" went up 300% in the last month. However, we can't just chalk it all up to E.L. James' Twilight fan fiction-originated trilogy. A press release from the Adult Novelty Group in the San Francisco Gate argues that the books' success is the result of the growing pro-toy cultural climate, thanks to (what else?) the Internet:

pened up an entire new world for the sex toy consumer. Not only was the selection varied, but most online outlets will also take the time to explain the utilization and purpose of each adult toy. This makes awkward conversations with clerks a thing of the past, which is a huge relief to female consumers.

'Fifty Shades of Sex Toys' [NY Observer]